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Shizuku by Chef Naoko (formerly Chef Naoko Bento Cafe)


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#1 averilpdx

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:19 PM

I just saw someone asking about this on PFD. I looked at the site and the menus and it looks great to me.
Supposed to open Feb 1st. Anyone know anything?

http://chefnaoko.com/bentocafe.htm

#2 Angelhair

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 07:53 AM

This is opening on SW Jefferson in the mini restaurant row near SW 12th. I walked past recently and noticed that another Thai spot opened called Thai Palace nearby where the Jamaican place used to be. It's so close to my house that we will inevitably try it as soon as they open.

#3 superdog

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 04:32 PM

This is opening on SW Jefferson in the mini restaurant row near SW 12th. I walked past recently and noticed that another Thai spot opened called Thai Palace nearby where the Jamaican place used to be. It's so close to my house that we will inevitably try it as soon as they open.


Please shot me an IM if you plan on going. It's so close to the dog shop that I will try catch a lunch if possible.
Ellen @ SuperDog
superdogpdx@gmail.com

#4 superdog

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 01:13 PM

Dear All,
I went there for lunch today, and just loved it. I had the Jefferson Bowl - Teriyaki ground chicken with tofu, onion, leek and vegetables on steamed rice. The ground chicken combined with tofu, onion, and leek, perfectly seasoned and cooked. You can definitely taste the freshness and high quality ingredient that they use. Very well balanced seasoning, and a little spicy with the fresh scallion. The bowl cost $6.50, and it was well worth it. You get a rice bowl from Safeway and it is $5.50, and it taste like crap. Everyone else got bento there, and it was very cute - boxes of bento with little partition for all kinds of goodies. I'm deinitely going to try that next. Service was efficient and friendly. I highly recommend it.

Chef Naoko Bento Shop & Cafe
1237 SW Jefferson St
Portland, OR, 97201
5032274136
M-F 11:30 - 15:00

www.chefnaoko.com

Happy Eating,
Ellen
Ellen @ SuperDog
superdogpdx@gmail.com

#5 Angelhair

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 01:15 PM

Thanks for the write-up Ellen. I hadn't even noticed that they had opened.

#6 i like f00d

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Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:50 AM

my wife and i have gotten food from here three times in the past 2 months and have been extremely pleased each time. the food is very high quality and very reasonably priced. the "business" bento changes every week and you can see it here:
http://chefnaoko.com...sbentomenu.html

you have to order it a day in advance, but it is definitely worth it. this week for $10 we got the "business" bento: an amazing salmon teriyaki bento w/a mixed green salad, tamago (egg "cake"), hijiki/shiitake rice, tofu au graten and blanched kale.

it is some of the best and most innovative japanese food i've had in the portland metro area. for sushi, toshi's out on SW 185th is tops, but for bento, it's gotta be chef naoko's.

#7 averilpdx

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Posted 30 April 2008 - 01:50 PM

I finally got to Chef Naoko today. I LOVED it! I wish this was in my 'hood, or better yet, that I had a chef who would make this for me everyday. I had the salmon bento and my little guy had mocheeze, grilled mochi w/ cheese and soy sauce (and he noshed on everything from my plate). My bento was so tasty and all of the flavors were very well balanced. There was an extremely tender, perfectly cooked piece of salmon, some hijiki, some goma ae made with fresh kale, a small green salad, a few pickles, a piece of tofu, a piece of tamago and mixed brown/white rice. Everything was subtle- the goma ae had a light sesame flavor- it was kind of magical, like the amount of flavor opened up your palate and suggested all kinds of other tastes. I'm not sure if that makes sense... I loved how everything was simple- it definitely felt like a treat to eat this food, but it was my version of what the perfect everyday healthy meal would be. My bento was $10.50, not the world's cheapest lunch, but a very good value IMO (wild salmon, fresh local veggies). It is also the most expensive thing on the menu. While I was making my way to the restaurant from the museum I saw a Japanese businessman (or so I assume from his suit) walking up Jefferson and I just knew where he was headed- I was right, and while I was in there (at least 40 min., this is cooked to order, lovingly prepared food- it takes a little while) at least 4 other groups of Japanese people came in. Chef Naoko is the real deal!
As far as kid friendliness- as I said,it takes a little while to get the food, so if you're kid can't hang it may
be better to get take out or walk around while your food is being prepared.There are no high chairs ( I was extremely lucky as I sat my son in a "real chair" (he's 21 mnths) in restaurant for the first time and he was a complete angel- sat and ate his lunch w/ nary a squirm or fuss, I guess that's how good the food is!) They have some crayons and paper and a woman came in with a baby who sat on her lap. It's a small place, so if there were lots of kids it could get out of hand, but for just a few kids it seems fine.

#8 Calabrese

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 06:49 PM

http://www.oregonliv...ef_naoko_b.html

Price range: Rice bowls and bentos, $6.75-$12.50 Serving: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Info: 1237 S.W. Jefferson St., 503-227-4136

Review makes me interested enough to check it out sometime.

#9 Calabrese

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Posted 19 April 2009 - 07:01 AM

http://www.oregonliv...pure_naoko.html Cole

I am going to have to check this place out.....

#10 JessicaRoberts

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 04:06 PM

I finally made it to Chef Naoko's today. I got a wild salmon bento ($14) and my husband got a wild rockfish bento ($15). Most of the special bentos were in this price range, and they all sounded delicious (dungeness crab croquettes, anyone?). The standard menu is much more modestly priced for lunch, including a chicken and a veggie bento ($9 each), three donburi options ($7.50 each), yakisoba ($7), and a few small plates.

The salmon was a generous portion, cooked perfectly, with a fantastic spicy-yet-subtle ginger paste on it. The rockfish was very moist (poached, maybe?) with the most interesting savory mushroom sauce - sort of like Japanese duxelles - on a bed of shiitake caps and cooked cabbage, with a very light cream sauce.

The other bento ingredients were
- a smashing microgreens salad with a particularly delicious version of that ubiquitous sweet-carrot-ginger Japanese dressing and a very small portion of pungent pickled/dressed hijiki
- A teeny tiny bit of swiss chard leaves and stems in sesame sauce
- Mixed grains rice
- A cube of warm tofu with a miso dressing
- A small piece of tamagoyaki

There was no miso, which is too bad because I adore miso, but honestly the meal was perfectly balanced and filling, so it wasn't really needed.

We both kept exclaiming throughout the meal about how bright and fresh the tastes were. Chef Naoko clearly has tremendous respect for her ingredients, and has sourced them well, and it shines through. We came away delighted, satisfied, yet feeling like we'd just eaten something really healthy.

Now for the bad parts: it's a dumpy location, it's the size of a postage stamp, the decor is sterile, and I expected better than disposable forks and chopsticks, especially from a restaurant that prides itself on sustainability. But you'll notice that none of that is a mark against the food, which is delicious. I'd go here all the time if it weren't on the butt end of downtown. As it is, I'll definitely go out of my way to go back from time to time.

#11 jmatt

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 07:36 PM

Now for the bad parts: it's a dumpy location, it's the size of a postage stamp, the decor is sterile, and I expected better than disposable forks and chopsticks, especially from a restaurant that prides itself on sustainability. But you'll notice that none of that is a mark against the food, which is delicious. I'd go here all the time if it weren't on the butt end of downtown. As it is, I'll definitely go out of my way to go back from time to time.


Fair enough----but it's a bento for fuck's sake. It's not meant as an eat-in meal.

#12 vj

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:10 PM

Jessica, good to see you, and welcome to PortlandFood! And thanks for the detailed description.

#13 Jill-O

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:59 PM

Wow, Chef Naoko will deliver a box lunch to your kids' private school:

http://www.chefnaoko...emid=57&lang=en
Never give up! Never surrender!

#14 Angelhair

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:24 PM

I love the packaging that Chef Naoko does for their delivery. Everything is wrapped up tight in Japanese furoshiki cloth. It's just so lovely and civilized.

#15 truth

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

I love the packaging that Chef Naoko does for their delivery. Everything is wrapped up tight in Japanese furoshiki cloth. It's just so lovely and civilized.


Is delivery available for small orders? Not obvious on their website. Unfortunately, I don't attend a private elementary school.
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#16 Angelhair

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 08:05 AM

Chef Naoko is now open for dinner on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  More later, but just posting now to say GO!



#17 Dan

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 11:38 AM

Just had to chime in to say that this is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in town, and as far as I know is the only one that focuses on bento meals like this. I lived in Japan for 3 years, and while the general standard of food there is excellent, I think Chef Naoko's bentos would have stood out even there -- here in Portland there's really nothing else like it.

 

(note to myself that I should go there more often.)



#18 Angelhair

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 12:18 PM

Did you know that she does bento boxes to go on evenings when she does dinners?  I just found out about that last night, too.

 

Here are images of the menu (which changes frequently):

 

https://twitter.com/...580433498324992

https://twitter.com/...581043568230401

https://twitter.com/...581166989824000



#19 vrunka

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Posted 16 October 2013 - 07:52 PM

I just had dinner here tonight and it was excellent. I was already a fan of their bento lunches (which are available at dinner, too), but really enjoyed the opportunity to see what else Chef Naoko can do. She's a master of simple, clean preparations that highlight the flavor and freshness of the ingredients. Probably my favorite dish of the night was Ikura chawan which was just a bowl of rice topped with fresh ikura. Simple and perfect. 

 

I was glad to see that they were almost full by the time I left at 7 and seemed to be doing pretty brisk take out business. I also overheard that they can and do take reservations -- which may be necessary as people catch on.



#20 Angelhair

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Posted 06 November 2016 - 12:52 PM

The restaurant formerly known as Chef Naoko has undergone an extensive remodel. From their facebook page:

 

Chef Naoko’s new Kengo Kuma designed restaurant “Shizuku by Chef Naoko” is now ready to open! As we continue to put the finishing touches to our new restaurant and ramp up our new kitchen, we will have a “Soft Opening” for the first few weeks. This will begin at 12 noon on Tuesday, November 8th for lunch only. For this week, our soft opening hours will be as follows:

 

Week 11/8 - 11/12

Mon: Closed
Tue: 12:00 - 14:30 lunch, no reservations, reduced seating
Wed: 11:30 - 14:30 lunch, no reservations
The: 11:30 - 14:30 lunch, no reservations
Fri: 11:30 - 14:00 lunch, no reservations
18:00 to 22:00 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
Sat: 17:00 - 22:00 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
Sun: Closed

 

After Week 11/15 -

Mon: Closed
Tue: 11:30 - 14:00 lunch, no reservations
18:00 - 21:30 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
Wed: 11:30 - 14:00 lunch, no reservations
18:00 - 21:30 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
The: 11:30 - 14:00 lunch, no reservations
18:00 - 21:30 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
Fri: 11:30 - 14:00 lunch, no reservations
18:00 - 22:00 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
Sat: 17:00 - 22:00 (last order) dinner, reservation only (no walk-ins)
Sun: Closed

 

For dinner reservations please email your request at least 24 hours prior to info@shizukupdx.com including name, number of guests, time, and phone number. You will receive an email confirmation. Watch out for Open Table online reservation system coming soon.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to Shizuku by Chef Naoko.

 

 

http://www.shizukupdx.com/